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How To Setup and Manage Magento Pages and Content

With Magento you can add, revise and control all of the content on the website. Magento pages are all held in the content management system, or CMS, in the admin panel back end. No programming or technical ability is needed to be able to do this. However, if you've used a word processing application before, that experience should come in handy.

In this guide we'll explore what options are available to manage the pages and content plus understand what content has been created following the initial installation.

Content Management System

Step 1 - Enter the Magento Admin Panel CMS area

Once you have logged into your Magento Admin panel, mouse hover over 'CMS' from the top main navigation menu and then choose 'Pages' as shown below:

This menu link will then explore the pages that are currently set up on our Magento installation. By pages, we mean the available content excluding any products and categories that have been created. Most importantly, our landing home page that customers will primarily see when they visit the website.

Step 2 - Review the Page Holding

Below we can see:

These pages have been created by Magento following the installation. You may find that all of these will be useful to you but we will need to revise most of them to fit in with our own website. We can see:

  • Title - this is the title of the page. For example taking the top one, 'About Us' is what will show if someone was to view the page.
  • URL Key - our URL can play an important part in understanding what the page is about, but we'll explain this later when we look closely at creating new pages.
  • Layout - Magento offers us a page theme. For example if you wanted to have a page that has nothing else on it, that's a 1 column page; the sole column being what we've written. If though you wanted to show something that you've written with some product options down the right, that's a 2 column page; this shows what we've written with the product options separately.
  • Status - self-explanatory, but like normal with Magento you can easily turn things on and off. If we look through our default pages so far, if we didn't want a customer service page, we can set that up as 'Disabled' and the status would reflect that way.

Step 3 - Changing a Page

So we can understand exactly how the Magento page management options work, let's make a simple change to a page and see the affects on the website.

Staying in CMS page holding area, we're going to head into the 'Home Page' by clicking that page from the list. This is likely to be the most important page on your website. Once the page loads, we see:

We have our typical management options in the top right section where we can delete and save the page. Further down we have the page information:

  • Page Title - the page title plays an important part to your website. It's almost similar to a road sign, heading customers in your direction and letting them know where they are. So customers recognise your website, set this to something appropriate such as your company name / brand and briefly what the website is about.
  • URL key - this part doesn't need altering when changing a page, but it will help later when we are creating a new page.
  • Status - either enabled or disabled, on or off. This example is the main homepage so we certainly want to leave this enabled.

From the left hand side, we know want to head into 'Content' to see exactly what our page has written on it.

Earlier we mentioned that some experience with a word processing program may help, and this is where that experience will come into use. We have many options presented in the 'editor' which will allow us to make a variety of changes to text, allow us to insert images, position the content, insert links etc. By default we have 'Home Page' set up which isn't particularly interesting, so it's worth investing some time here putting together your best selling points for your website. A good mix of text and images will attract customers in to explore your product range.

Quite a few of the editor options may appear daunting, but apart from the top two lines, you probably won't need to use any others. If you're unsure on what one option does, simply mouse hover over the top of it to get a short summary what the option means.

Once you have written some information for the home page, select the save option from the top right hand section.

How will this look on our website? It's time to find out. As we've changed the home page, head to your website or refresh the website if you are already on it.

In our example we simply centered the heading, added some text to fill the page out and inserted an image. You can keep making as many changes as you like to this section, honestly the more the better, keep refining those changes until you've optimised this page as much as possible. You want to give a good impression but remember it shouldn't be too bloated. You want to entice people in with enough information for them to read on rather than scaring them off.

Step 4 - Creating a New Page

So far we've learnt where in Magento pages are, how to change one, but how about creating one? To create a new page, head back into the 'CMS' -> 'Pages' area.

From the top right section, choose 'Add New Page'.

This brings up the familiar page information section that we've seen before when changing a page, but this time we'll learn what is required for a new page with some design options and SEO (search engine optimisation) options.

  • Page Title - we mentioned before that was important for the homepage that we were changing and it's also important that we choose something appropriate for our new page. What is the page about? What would make a customer click it?
  • URL key - we didn't have to do this before when changing a page but it's essential that we set a URL key for our new page. Usually this will follow suit on what the new page is called. Say for example we've got a clothes website and we want to create a 'Size Guide' page, lets set this url key to 'size-guide'. Note that we've used a hyphen to break up the two words; that's because Magento does not allow spaces in URL keys. Don't use uppercases, lowercase is best.
  • Status - basically whether the page is on or off on our website. If it's fine to go live for customers to see, set this to 'Enabled'. If you want to spend some time later changing this and just want to set it up initially as a guide, set it to 'Disabled'.

Next from the left we should head into 'Content'.

Again another section that we've seen before when changing a page, here we write the content for our new page.

Next from the left again, we should head into 'Design'.

The only part that we're going to concentrate on at this point is the 'Layout'. In the example above, this by default is set to '1 column'. To understand what this means, imagine your website page in sections. If we look at the homepage, we have 2 columns. We have the main information focused on the left with a small side bar on the right. Potentially on your new page, that side bar could show your product names and categories. Is the page about products? If so, it might be a good idea to have 2 columns with this information and choose '2 Columns with right bar' from the drop down menu. If not, stick with the 1 column and the page information that you write will appear across the full horizontal view.

Finally, from the left again, we should head into 'Meta Data'.

If you've been following previous Magento articles, you may have come across the 'Meta' information being setup for Magento product categories. To recap what these mean:

  • Meta Keywords - keywords may help towards the ranking of your website in search engines. Use appropriate keywords to your page to attract customers in and split them up with commas. For example if we were writing a size guide page for a clothing store, we could use 'size guide, clothing stores' etc. Including your business name might be wise as well.
  • Meta Description - the description is similar to keywords, but formed in a better sentence rather than being broken up. For example we could use 'XX Clothing Store Size Guide - find your perfect size'.

Now that we've completed all of the sections for the new page, choose the 'Save Page' option from the top right menu.

Congratulations! You've just created your first page in Magento.

It's important to understand that the new page isn't linked yet from anywhere on your site. Providing that the page status is set to 'Enabled', you can find it by typing in your URL key from earlier. If you used our example which was 'size-guide', you can navigate to your new page by typing in your address bar your website domain with '/size-guide' on the end of the address such as http://www.yoursite.co.uk/size-guide.

Adding Pages and Content Concluded

Now that you understand how to manage the page content on your Magento website, you can continue forwards adding any new sections that you need to your website. It's also worth reviewing all of the default pages that Magento has created for you, often with jibberish or replacements needed in them, such as the 'Customer Service' and 'About Us' pages. Often content is key, especially for search engines, so the more content you add, the more this will improve your website.

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